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According to a new study conducted by Pike Research, the number of electric vehicle (EV) charge points across the globe will reach 4.7 million by 2015. That's so many that the study suggests that the charging market will become overly crowded by next year.
As the EV charging market emerges, lesser known companies such as AeroVironment, Coulomb Technologies, Better Place and ECOtality have been taking the lead in developing charging stations. Now, as the market ages, bigger names such as General Electric, Panasonic, Siemens and Samsung have joined the action which will lead to the rapid expansion predicted by Pike Research.

The only hurdle remaining is an economic one. According to Pike's senior analyst, John Gartner, the groundwork for a profitable business model for charging stations is not well-developed. Gartner:
The economics of selling a few kilowatt hours per charge are very challenging, and as such we anticipate that public charging station deployments will be driven mainly by government initiatives over the next several years.
If the 4.7 million mark is reached, it will be a remarkable achievement. Here's some gas station numbers from countries across the globe for comparison purposes:
  • U.S.: 121,446
  • China: 30,000
  • Canada: 14,000
  • UK: 9,271
Several estimates peg the number of gas stations worldwide at about 1.5 million. Granted, gasoline-powered vehicles need to visit the gas station less often than EV drivers need to plug in and a single gas station may have up to a dozen pumps, but this clearly shows that 4.7 million charging stations is a heck of a lot.

[Source: Pike Research]


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  • 9 Comments
      • 7 Months Ago
      "The economics of selling a few kilowatt hours per charge are very challenging, and as such we anticipate that public charging station deployments will be driven mainly by government initiatives over the next several years."

      In other words this makes NO economic sense, so the govt't will force it upon us and the taxpayers will get the bill.

      Yep, that's progressives for you!
        • 7 Months Ago
        "Yep, that's progressives for you!"

        Another term of derision from the right trying to mock the left. Thanks Glenn Beck.
        • 7 Months Ago
        I agree with you, Tim.

        I don't want any of my taxes to go toward electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

        I'd much rather my tax dollars go to tax breaks for some rich a-hole or some corporation. That's what us Republicans want, right? That's what we got under all previous Republican administrations so that must be what we love.

        (that was sarcasm, just in case nobody noticed)
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm in the wrong business, I'd love to be doing all these 'studies'. Browse the internet for a bit, project some numbers, easy peasy. Well it would be nice but I don't know why all these studies are being paid for, for companies that are interested in these kind of things you'd think they could find out for themselves, I guess it's just easier to pay for a PDF file ;-)
        • 7 Months Ago
        I agree.

        Just as the other story here on AB Green about 4 million EV's on the road by 2017, I have to call BS on this one as well.

        People are just grabbing numbers out of thin air on this stuff.

      • 7 Months Ago
      For some real-world numbers:

      As of August, 2010, California already has 3,000 EV charging stations. They will be upgraded over the next 12-18 months to SAE J1772 standards. In addition, several thousand more will be installed in the San Francisco bay area, Greater Los Angeles, and Greater San Diego over the next year or so. Each of these markets will receive 50-60 Level 3 charging stations. While infrastructure buildout may be slower in other markets, a little research will find existing EV charging stations where you live. It wouldn't take much consumer pressure on local and regional governments to update these to the J1772 standard. It also would not hurt to contact The EV Project and ChargePoint America and let them know that you have an interest.

      For more info on the Nissan LEAF, and to see if it is right for you, please check out http://livingleaf.info
      • 7 Months Ago
      Yeah, comparing charging point numbers with gas stations is a tad disingenuous, should definitely be quick charge stations vs gas stations. Other interesting numbers might be L2 charging points vs gas pumps. or charging points vs parking spaces.

      A large number of those charge points are going to be curbside park&charge meters, or at parking spaces at retail locations to attract 'captive' customers, or at park&rides/airports/train stations

      Also, do the numbers include home chargers? I bet if you only look at L3/L4 quick-charge stations planned by 2015 the numbers will be rather tiny.
        • 7 Months Ago
        The report summary sounds like it includes home charging stations. Except for urban commuters whose commute is so short that can get by with "extension cord" trickle charging (20 hours for a full Leaf recharge), every EV owner will install a home charging station, but the report summary doesn't give EV numbers.

        I agree public level 3 (the 500V DC quick charge) is closest to a gas pump, while public level 2 (240V high-ish current) is something new, like you say it can be a marketing tool for malls and shopping to encourage people to come and hang around while the car is recharged.

        What's an "L4 quick-charge station"? CARB/SAE/National Electrical Code doesn't define it. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Level_1,_2,_and_3_charging )
      • 7 Months Ago
      This formula hasn't yet let me down:




      IF (year in headline) [minus] (current year) IS [GEQ] (GreaterThanOrEqualTO) "5"... THEN Ignore the article!